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Two worlds of Russian icon. Рainting 17th century icons from the collection of the Museum of Russian Icons

Icons from the collection of the Museum of Russian Icons presented at the exhibition date back to the 17th century, one of the most complex and controversial periods in Russian culture – not by chance called the “era of change”.

The iconography of this time completes the centuries-old history of the development of Old Russian art and stands on the threshold of the realistic painting of the New Age. It is during this period that gradual secularization of art occurs, as the interest of icon painters in the person and the surrounding world increases. From the middle of the century, the influence of the European artistic culture is increasing, which leads to a significant expansion of the range of subjects and the complication of iconography. The conductor of new ideas is the icon-painting workshop of the Moscow Kremlin Armory, in which the best izografs are concentrated and even foreigners work. This is where the transformation of the pictorial language of the Russian icon takes place – the so-called “life-like” style is introduced, distinguished by more realistic approach to painting of saints, use of light and shadow, depiction of volumetric plastic form. The aesthetic criterion is now the main one in evaluating works of religious painting, and the concept of “divine” is often replaced by the concept of “beautiful”.......